January 13, 2015
A Treasure- with a bit of humor
Ok, I'll admit it- I can't read, nor speak, a word of Italian, much less early 17th century Italian. However, I am a dyed-in-the-wool history fanatic and am also an aficianado of historical and antique books. To me, each book is like a time capsule waiting to be opened and it's contents discovered. In the 19th century, this book was finally authenticated to be the work of Galileo, though it was thought, for about 3 centuries, to have been authored by someone else and it discusses a "new star" that had been newly noticed a few years prior to the publication of this book. If you know anything about scientific history, then you are aware that Galileo was persecuted and ridiculed for his scientific theories, which have since been mostly proven to be fact. His opposers views on certain scientific subjects, such as astronomy, were largely based on teachings of Aristotle, whereas Galileo was trying to prove his theories with mathematical evidence. According to the description on the page that accompanies the scan of this book, Galileo wrote his views in the form of two rustic farmers standing around one day discussing the two opposing views about this "new star". There is a short translation in the description where one of the farmers, who is favorable to Galileo's theory, refers to the opposing scholars at a University saying, "A pox on those goat-turds at Padua..."! Hilarious!! I so wish I could read an entire translation of this book! I have to extend my deep gratitude to this website, the other companion websites, and the many generous contributors that scan and make these books available to the websites for posterity. I could never afford to go to all the libraries and museums in the world that house these rare historical books, though to actually be able to hold them in my hands would be awesome. Without these websites, there would never be anyway for any one person to know they all even exist and now it only takes an internet connection for anyone to discover them for themselves.